At a time when the railways is mulling high-speed trains across the country, an express train takes six hours and 35 minutes to cover a distance of 69km between two stations of Karnataka, travelling at a speed of 10.6km per hour.
And this phenomenon is not a one-time thing.
This is how the official time table of the train has been prepared.
The train in question is the 15024 Yesvantpur-Gorakhpur express, which connects Gorakhpur to Bangalore via Lucknow.
As per the official railway timetable, the train leaves Yesvantpur in Karnataka at 11.40pm every Thursday and reaches Sirpur Kagaznagar at 3.09am, covering a distance of 913km.
From here the train departs at 3.10am for Balharshah, which is located at a distance of just 69km from Sirpur Kagaznagar. However, the train reaches Balharshah at 9.45am, taking a whopping 6.35 hours for the short distance.
Additionally, as per the timetable, the train also takes two hours and 45 minutes to cover the 91km distance between Itarsi junction and Bhopal.
Normally, an express train covers the same distance in little more than an hour.
The painfully slow speed of this train between some stations causes inconvenience to several passengers, who are not left with many options, as this is one of the very few trains connecting Lucknow to Karnataka.
“The train stops at more than half a dozen small stations between Sirpur Kagaznagar and Balharshah, perhaps to make up for the time,” said RK Nair, a Lucknow-based passenger.
However, the time taken by the train cannot be rectified unless the official time table of the train is changed.
The Gorakhpur headquarters of North Eastern Railway (NER), which manages the train in Uttar Pradesh, has informed the South Central Railway (SCR) under whose jurisdiction the two stations fall.
“We know about it and we have conveyed to SCR to address the problem,” said AK Singh, chief PRO of the NER.
When Hindustan Times contacted Sanbasiva Rao K, chief public relation officer of the SCR, he admitted to the ‘’operational problem’’, adding that it would be addressed only when the timetable is revised in July next year.
“It is because of unavailability of a suitable route ahead of Balharshah station which comes under central railway. We are waiting for an acceptance from the central railway for a new route. Hopefully it would be addressed in the next time table,” Rao K added.